Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Upload Secretly

The NYT has an article about the guy who went on a quest about his friend's lost Sidekick. 'Sidekick' is the name for a mobile device that has a small keyboard and a camera and a phone, and everything you shoot with it, or all the websites you visit, automatically get logged onto T-Mobile's web servers which you can check from your desk.

The friend left it in a cab, did not get it returned, logs into the T-Mobile web servers to check what the Sidekick was doing, and, lo and behold, she finds someone has used her device. The whole saga of what happened next is on the page, and it is a fairly riveting read on a number of levels besides just the story itself, like
  • Learning the hard way how to handle a high-traffic website,
  • Learning the hard way how forums end up working on a personal level
  • Learing the hard way to handle reputation-management on the Internet (tip: don't get sucked in)
  • How the cops try to game their own system to create the least amount of work for themselves, and can absolutely not stand challenges to their procedures.

It makes me wonder about how and I handled our own version of this; when our apartment was broken into and the perp used the phone 30 minutes after the break in. Now the BPD was not as unhelpful as the NYPD -- and a case could be made that no crime happened in the Sidekick case because it was not stolen -- but in our case the BPD wasn't really helpful about a breaking-and-entering where we could give them full stats on the likely perp -- the person who used the phone 30 minutes after the break-in. You think my phone got fenced in 30 minutes or less, hmm?

I should have made a web-page, instead of scattering our finds amongst entries. Collected the info about his hunnies that called me, and become a media sensation. Harnessed the Internet. Instead, we let it go after getting nowhere ourselves; burglaries are really not a prosecuted crime.